The-Guardianship-Process-in-North-Carolina

Legally reviewed by:
King Law
May 16, 2024

Across the United States, guardianship is understood to be a legal process where an individual or entity is granted the responsibility to make decisions on behalf of another person who is unable to make decisions for themselves and manage their affairs. In North Carolina, specifically, the guardianship process ensures that vulnerable individuals, who cannot make important decisions for themselves and are adjudicated as such, have the protection necessary to make sure they can live their lives without harm befalling them. Generally, guardianship is ordered when an individual is deemed incompetent for reasons of age, disability, or other incapacitating factors, such as severe injuries. The person that guardianship is being sought over is known as the ward. As previously stated, the primary purpose of guardianship, in both North Carolina and other states, is to provide care, support, and protection for individuals that the court determines are incompetent. 

In North Carolina, the guardianship process is governed by the North Carolina General Statutes, specifically Chapter 35A, which outlines and explains the rules and procedures for establishing and maintaining guardianships. The rules and procedures outlined in Chapter 35A establish a legal framework for guardianship and ensure that the ward has their rights and interests protected throughout the entire guardianship process. To ensure that the proceedings are occurring in the best interests of the potentially incapacitated person, the guardianship process in North Carolina involves several key elements. 

The first step in the guardianship process is the petition. In this step, the interested person seeking guardianship over the war must file a petition with the court. After this, the individual must provide evidence that shows that there is a need for guardianship over the ward and that the ward is incapacitated. 

The second step in the process involves an evaluation of the ward. Upon receiving the petition from the interested party, the court will appoint someone, typically a physician or psychologist, to evaluate the ward and assess its capacity. A written report is then submitted to the court by the evaluator, and in the report, the evaluator will provide their professional opinion on the capacity or lack thereof of the ward. 

The third step in the guardianship process is the hearing. Following the submission of the evaluator’s report, the court will hold a hearing. In the hearing, the court will review the evaluator’s report, consider the testimony, opinions, and objections of all involved parties, and determine whether guardianship is necessary. The allegedly incapacitated person is entitled to legal counsel and has the right to contest the guardianship if they can be present at the hearing to present evidence supporting their capacity. 

The final step in the guardianship process is to determine whether a guardianship needs to be appointed. If the court determines that guardianship over the ward is necessary and in the best interest of the incapacitated person, then a guardian will be appointed. However, if the court finds that there is insufficient evidence supporting an assertion that the ward is incompetent, then they will refuse to appoint a guardian. If the interested party is appointed guardian have the ward, they have many important rights and responsibilities, such as decision-making power about personal, financial, and medical affairs. 

If you believe that your loved one needs a guardian, it is important to take action. At King Law Offices, we understand the seriousness and difficulty of these situations and we are here to help. Contact us today at 888-748-KING (5464) to discuss your situation and learn about your legal options. Our experienced attorneys will work tirelessly to protect your loved one’s rights and ensure that they receive the protection they need. Call us today for a consultation.

Legally reviewed by:
King Law
Carolina Attorneys
May 16, 2024

This blog post has been reviewed and verified by legal experts at King Law. Our team is dedicated to providing premium legal services with compassion, innovation, trust, and advocacy. Serving Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, we offer flexible meeting options and strive to exceed client expectations with high-quality legal representation and exceptional client relationships.

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